• Identification00040255
  • TitleDescriptive inventory for the Sigmund J. Osty visual materials, 1960-1976
  • PublisherChicago Historical Society
  • Language
    • English.
    • English
  • RepositoryChicago History Museum Research Center 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614-6038
  • OriginationSigmund J. Osty Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association
  • Date1960-1976
  • Physical Description2.25 linear feet, including approximately 1750 black-and-white photographic prints (10 boxes)
  • Location1997.0160 PPL

Credit photographer, some restrictions may apply.

Gift of Walter Ostopowicz (accession #: 1997.0160).

Sigmund J. Osty visual materials (Chicago History Museum), with a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of the specific item(s).

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include photographs of neighborhoods and buildings, some of which are by Osty, from the Chicagoland-in-Pictures project, mostly filed in the "Image-file, Topical," cataloged separately.

Black-and-white photographic prints depicting the built environment, predominantly in Chicago, but also Evanston, Skokie, and Galena, Illinois. All the images depict exterior views, the majority of which are street intersections, though the collection also documents streetscapes, residences, and individual businesses, particularly churches, department stores, and burlesque and pornographic film establishments. Osty most frequently documented the River North, Near North Side, Cabrini-Green, Gold Coast, and Old Town areas (bounded by Menomonee (1800 North) to the Chicago River (300 North), Lake Michigan to Halsted St. (800 West)); the collection also includes many images (approximately 300) of the Downtown Chicago area (bounded by the Chicago River (300 North) to Harrison St. (600 South), Michigan Avenue (100 East) to I-90/94 Expressway (700 West)). Other areas documented include the Lakefront and Museum Campus, South Loop and Chinatown, South Commons, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Englewood, Bridgeport and New City, Homan Square, the West Loop and Near West Side, Garfield Park, University Village/Maxwell Street, Little Italy, Illinois Medical District, Pilsen, River West, Goose Island, Nobel Square, West Town, Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, West Lakeview, North Center and Lincoln Square, Uptown, Edgewater, Rodgers Park and Andersonville. The collection includes images of the Maxwell Street markets, the original Hull House and its relocation, and a number of images taken from the observation deck in the John Hancock Center. Some of the images were taken for camera club presentations or competitions, and nearly all images have been labeled by Osty with either an address or cross-streets and the month/year.

The images have been arranged by geographic areas, roughly corresponding to Chicago neighborhood areas. To find a specific location, consult the street boundaries listed for each series and box as the categories may not conform precisely to official Chicago neighborhood area designations.

Sigmund J. Osty (Ostopowicz) was an amateur photographer who documented Chicago as a member of the Fort Dearborn Camera Club. He contributed images to the Chicagoland-in-Pictures project, an annual competition sponsored by the Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association and the Chicago Historical Society since 1948.

  • Names
    • Osty, Sigmund J.--Archives
    • Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association--Archives
    • Chicago Historical Society. Chicagoland in Pictures Project
    • Hull-House (Chicago, Ill.
    • John Hancock Center (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Maxwell Street Market (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Subject
    • Dwellings--Illinois--Chicago--1960-1979
    • Office buildings--Illinois--Chicago--1960-1979
    • Photographers--Illinois--Chicago metropolitan area--20th century
    • Photography--Illinois--Chicago metropolitan area--20th century
    • Retail stores--Illinois--Chicago--1960-1979
    • Streets--Illinois--Chicago--1960-1979
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Buildings, structures, etc.--1960-1979
    • Evanston (Ill.)
    • Galena (Ill.)
    • Skokie (Ill.)
    • Bridgeport (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Bronzeville (Neighborhood : Chicago, Ill.)
    • Chinatown (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Douglas (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Englewood (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Garfield Park (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Gold Coast (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Humboldt Park (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Hyde Park (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Jefferson Park (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Logan Square (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Loop (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Near North Side (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Near West Side (Chicago, Ill.)
    • New City (Chicago, Ill.)
    • North Lawndale (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Old Town (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Pilsen (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Portage Park (Chicago, Ill.)

The collection is arranged in five series.

Series 1. Downtown and Lakefront, 1960-1976 (box 1-2)

This series consists of images (approximately 350) of Downtown Chicago (bounded by the Chicago River to the north, Harrison to the south, Michigan Avenue to the East and 90/94 to the west). Also included are images of the Chicago lakefront in the downtown and Museum Campus areas (bounded by approximately Roosevelt to the south).

Series 2. North, 1960-1976 (box 5-10)

This series consists of images (approximately 1050) of images of the River North, Gold Coast, Old Town, River West, Goose Island, Nobel Square, West Town, Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park, Uptown, Edgewater, Rodgers Park and Andersonville neighborhoods. The bulk of the images are of River North, the Near North Side, Cabrini-Green, Gold Coast and Old Town. Note there is only one image of Bucktown that depicts St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church.

Series 3. South, 1960-1976 (box 2-4)

This series consists of images (approximately 330) of the South Loop, Chinatown, South Commons, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Englewood (2 images), Bridgeport and New City, University Village/Maxwell Street, Little Italy, Illinois Medical District and Pilsen. This series contains approximately 40 images of the Maxwell Street area.

Series 4. West, 1960-1976 (box 4, 9)

This series consists of images (approximately 200) of the West Loop and Near West Side, Garfield Park, Homan Square, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Portage Park, and Jefferson Park.

Series 5. Outside Chicago and unidentified, 1960-1976 and undated (box 9-10)

This series consists of images (approximately 70) of Chicago suburbs, including Skokie and Evanston, and Galena, Illinois. The series also includes a small number of unlabeled and unidentified images.